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Last Updated : Sep 21 2020 9:13AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi to lay foundation stone for nine highway projects worth over Rs 14,000 Cr in Bihar through video conference today            Govt says Minimum Support Price for farmers will continue            Railways starts running 40 clone trains with higher speed and fewer stops            Many states to partially reopen schools for students of classes 9-12 from today as per Unlock 4 guidelines            Sikkim govt imposes complete lockdown in Gangtok municipal area till Sept 27           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS


  • India conducts highest ever single day COVID-19 tests of over seven lakh 33 thousand samples; Recovery rate improves to over 70 per cent.

  • National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 meets for the first time today; deliberates on strategy to ensure availability of coronavirus vaccines and its delivery mechanism.

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari calls for increased international investment in Indian Highways and MSME sectors.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch platform for 'Transparent Taxation-Honoring the Honest' tomorrow.

  • 121 Police personnel awarded Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation for 2020.


India has conducted highest ever single day Covid-19 tests of over seven lakh 33 thousand in the last 24 hours. This has taken the cumulative tests to more than two crore 60 lakh. Union Health Ministry said, the country's Test, Track and Treat strategy has achieved another peak with 18 thousand 852 test per million. The graded and evolving response has resulted in a testing strategy that steadily widened the testing net in the country. The testing lab network in the country is continuously strengthened with one thousand 421 labs 944 labs in the government sector and 477 private labs.

The country has also reported the highest ever single-day COVID-19 recoveries of over 56 thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry said that 16 lakh 39 thousand 599 people have recovered till date. The Recovery rate has reached another high of 70.38 per cent. The actual case load of the country is over six lakh 43 thousand, which is only 27.64 per cent of the total positive cases. It said, single day spike of 60 thousand 963 COVID-19 cases has taken the virus caseload to over 23 lakh 29 thousand. In the last 24 hours, 834 deaths pushed the death toll to 46 thousand 91.


National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19  deliberated on strategy to ensure COVID 19 vaccines's availability and its delivery mechanism. They met for the first time today. The meeting was chaired by Dr V K Paul, Member Niti Aayog along with Health Secretary, as co-Chair. The expert group deliberated on conceptualization and implementation mechanisms for creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last mile delivery. They discussed on broad parameters guiding the selection of COVID-19 vaccine candidates for the country and sought inputs from Standing Technical Sub-Committee of National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization. The group delved on the procurement mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccine, including both indigenous and international manufacturing along with guiding principles for prioritization of population groups for vaccination.

The expert group discussed the financial resources required for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine and various options of financing the vaccine. Available options in terms of delivery platforms, cold chain and associated infrastructure for roll out of COVID-19 vaccination were also taken up. Further, strategy and follow-up action on all possible scenarios to ensure equitable and transparent delivery of vaccine was deliberated upon.

India’s support to its key neighbors and development partner countries for COVID-19 vaccines was deliberated upon. The expert group discussed that India will leverage domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity and will also engage with all international players for early delivery of vaccines not only in India but also in low and middle income countries. 


Air India has decided to stop flights to Madrid, Milan, Copenhagen, Vienna and Stockholm. This comes as the latest impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on country’s aviation sector. The national carrier which is already hit by the pandemic felt that operating on these routes would not be financially viable. Our correspondent quoting sources reports that Air India, however will fly to London, Paris, Rome and  Frankfurt in European Union.


The Election Commission has postponed the due elections of gram panchayats, zila parishads and Port Blair Municipal Council in Andaman and Nicobar Islands till further order. The decision has been taken after observing the current situation of COVID-19 in the islands. The commission was informed earlier about the current COVID-19 situation by the administration. The tenure of all these institutions is going to complete in September this year. The commission has completed major preparatory works like revision of electoral rolls. Now, the Election Commission will assess the situation and take proper action with respect to the proposed elections when the situation becomes normal.


Jammu and Kashmir today recorded 482 fresh cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number of positive cases to 26,413 in the Union Territory. Eight deaths have been reported from Kashmir division taking the Covid death toll to 498. The number of active cases in the Union territory is 7,392. With 544 more recoveries, the number of total recovered in J&K has reached 18,523.


A total of one thousand 113 new confirmed cases of Corona virus have been reported in Delhi during the last twenty four hours taking the total number of cases to one lakh 48 thousand 504. Delhi Government has confirmed that over one lakh 33 thousand people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, one thousand 21 people recovered and 14 deaths were reported in the National Capital taking the toll to four thousand 153. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the national capital is ten thousand 946.


In Odisha, the number of Covid-19 cases has crossed 50 thousand mark. With 1876 positive cases on a single day yesterday, the total number of coronavirus infected people in the state has reached 50,672. Out of them, 34805 people have recovered while 15509 people are under treatment. The state has ramped up testing which now has crossed 7 lakh 24 thousand samples. Meanwhile, to maximize the pandemic awareness especially among the youth, the state government has launched a mobile app COVIDSANGRAMEE20-20 CHALLENGE on the International Youth Day today. A report:

"Odisha which could put the lid on the rapid expansion of the novel coronavirus in the initial phases of the pandemic has of late been witnessing a daily surge of Covid-19 patients. On an average, the daily case count in the state has been over 1,500 during the last few days. While all the 30 districts of the states have reported covid-19 positive cases during the last 24 hours, the district of Khordha which houses the capital city of Bhubaneswar has seen the highest inter-district positive cases at 297. The state which reported the first covid positive case on 15th March this year is now witnessing a positivity rate of about 7%, recovery rate of more than 68 % and death rate of about 0.6 %. G C Dash, News, Bhubaneswar."


Nagaland today reported 87 COVID-19 positive cases taking the total number of affected people in the state to 3,118. Meanwhile, 128 people recovered from the infection and discharged from the hospitals today. With this, the state’s active cases stand at 1,991, while 1,113 people have recovered from the infection. So far, seven have succumbed to COVID-19 in the state.


Kerala continued to report surge in Covid-19 cases as 1,212 new cases were confirmed today. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that, among the new cases, 1068 people were those who contracted virus through contact. Six people died today due to Covid-19 taking the death toll to 126 in the State. 880 recoveries were also reported today. Presently, 13,045 affected people are under treatment in Kerala.

Meanwhile, in the landslide-hit Rajamala area in Idukki district, the death toll has risen to 55, as three more bodies were recovered from the site today.


In our series Expert Speak on All India Radio, we bring you the views of the leading medical experts on COVID-19.

Talking to AIR News, Member (Health) in NITI Aayog, Dr V K Paul urged everyone to follow social distancing in order to break chain the transmission.

Dr. Sanjay Pandey of Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, Delhi, spoke about the use of mask saying it is important to wear them while stepping out of home.


Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has called for increased investment by international institutions and bodies in the Indian Highways and MSME sectors. He said, automobile and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the two growth engines of Indian economy. Addressing the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Womennovator on Trade Investment and collaborations in Road infrastructure and MSMEs today, the Minister said, India and Australia are already co-operating in the road safety sector. He said, this cooperation has provided better designs for roads and awareness opportunities for the public. Under Indian Road Safety Assessment Programme, 21 thousand km roads have been assessed and about 3000 km road length is under technological upgradation. He said, better road engineering and increased public awareness have brought improvement.


Road Transport and Highways Ministry has allowed registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries. In a letter to transport Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories, the Ministry has clarified that vehicles without batteries can be sold and registered based on the type approval certificate issued by the Test Agency. It said, there is no need to specify the Make/Type or any other details of the Battery for the purpose of Registration. The Government is striving to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in the country. The Ministry said, it is time to come together to work Jointly to achieve the broader national agenda to reduce vehicular pollution and oil import bill.


The work has started on the first - of- its- kind Katra - Delhi Express Road Corridor which will be ready by 2023. Disclosing this today, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said, when it becomes functional, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours. He stated that once this Express Road Corridor becomes functional, people will prefer to travel to Delhi by road instead of undertaking journey by train or by Air. He said the hallmark of this road corridor is that it will connect the holy cities of Katra and Amritsar, and at the same time offer connectivity for some other major important religious shrines between the two destinations.


The number of loans sanctioned under the PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi-PM SVANidhi scheme has crossed one lakh. The number of applications received under the scheme has crossed the five lakh mark within 41 days of commencement of the lending process. The PM SVANidhi scheme has generated considerable enthusiasm among the street vendors, who have been looking for access to affordable working capital credit for re-starting their businesses post COVID-19 lockdown.

The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs under the ambit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. It aims at facilitating collateral free working capital loans upto 10 thousand rupees of one year tenure, to about 50 lakh street vendors in the urban areas, including those from the surrounding peri-urban/ rural areas.


The Government has rejected a claim of newspaper that Centre is going to stop use of Urea in agriculture. In a tweet, Press Information Bureau has termed the news as fake. It clarified that no such decision has been taken by the government to discontinue the use of Urea in farming.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the platform for Transparent Taxation-Honoring the Honest through video conferencing tomorrow.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, CBDT has carried out several major tax reforms in direct taxes in the recent years. Last year, the Corporate Tax rates were reduced from 30 per cent to 22 per cent and for new manufacturing units the rates were reduced to 15 per cent. Dividend distribution Tax was also abolished.

The focus of the tax reforms has been on reduction in tax rates and on simplification of direct tax laws. Several initiatives have been taken by the CBDT for bringing in efficiency and transparency in the functioning of the IT Department. This includes bringing more transparency in official communication through the newly introduced Document Identification Number (DIN) wherein every communication of the Department would carry a computer generated unique document identification number.

The upcoming launch of the platform by the Prime Minister will further carry forward the journey of direct tax reforms.

The event will be witnessed by various Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations, Chartered Accountants' associations and also eminent taxpayers, apart from the officers and officials of Income Tax Department. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur will be present on the occasion.


The Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation for 2020 has been awarded to 121 Police personnel. The medal was constituted in 2018 with the objective to promote high professional standards of investigation of crime and to recognize such Excellence in Investigation by investigating officers.

Among the personnel receiving these awards, 15 are from Central Bureau of Investigation, 10 each are from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra Police, eight are from Uttar Pradesh Police and seven each are from Kerala and West Bengal Police. The remaining are from the other States and Union Territoires. These include twenty one women police officers.


In the last six years, the Government has taken many important decisions on Defence. Ending a four decade long wait of veterans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government announced the 'One Rank One Pension' scheme for ex-servicemen. In a major boost to the armed forces, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) yesterday approved the procurement of defence equipment for an approximate cost of over 8 thousand 7 hundred 22 crore rupees, including 106 basic trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The step will strengthen the armed forces by relying on indigenous capability to take forward the initiative on Atmanirbhar Bharat. Our correspondent reports that government is giving emphasis on positioning India among the top countries of the world in Defence and Aerospace sectors, from design to production, with the active participation of public and private sector fulfilling the twin objectives of self-reliance and exports.

"Recently Defence Ministry has issued the formal government sanction letter for grant of Permanent Commission to women officers in the Indian Army, paving the way for empowering women officers to shoulder larger roles in the organisation. In 2018, the Indian Air Force inducted three women fighter pilots. India’s journey towards self reliance in defence got a major boost after defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond that he timeline. Ending a four decade long wait of veterans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 announced the One Rank One Pension scheme for ex-servicemen. It implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. And finally, a batch of five Rafale fighter jets touched down at the Ambala air base last month. Rafale is the first western combat aircraft to join the Indian Air Force 23 years after Sukhoi aircrafts were imported. Souvagya, AIR news, Delhi."


Security has been intensified across the Jammu region with increased checking and patrolling ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. AIR Jammu Correspondent reports that as a measure of multi-tier security, police have deployed additional Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in Jammu city to deal with any situation. The main function of the Independence Day in Jammu will be held at Mini Stadium at Parade Ground. Border grid security has been tightened and all border roads are being kept under a strict watch. SSP, Jammu, Shridhar Patil has said adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure Independence Day passes off peacefully.


In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani Army troops initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing with small arms and heavy mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Nowshera Sector of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir this evening. PRO defence, Colonel Davinder Anand has said that the Indian Army troop gaurding the fence are retaliating befittingly with equal caliber. The exchange of fire continued till reports last came in. There are no reports of demage to any property and loss of any life from Indian side so far. Details are awaited.


Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that a magisterial enquiry will be instituted to probe into the mob violence at Deverajeevanahalli and Kadugondanahalli in Bengaluru last night. Speaking to the media persons in Bengaluru today, Mr. Bommai said that the meeting headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has decided to appoint a district magistrate to probe into the incident as per the guidelines issued by the Human Rights Commission. He also said that 145 suspects related to the riots are taken into police custody. He said, the Government will recover the losses arising from damage to public property during the violence from rioters as per the directions of the Supreme Court. He said that the situation is now peaceful and the state has sought additional forces from neigbouring states to maintain law and order. It is being reported that the riots and vandalism were the result of an objectionable Facebook post. Three people had died, several police personnel were injured and damage was caused to houses and vehicles during the violence.


Minister of State for Ayush and Defence Shripad Y Naik has tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet, Mr Naik said, he has tested positive for coronavirus infection and has opted for home isolation. Mr Naik said, he has opted for self-isolation as he is asymptomatic and added his vitals are within normal limits. The Minister said, those who have came in contact with him in last few days are advised to get tested for themselves and take required precautions.


The festival of Janmashtami, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna, is being celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety in different parts of the country today. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted people on the occasion.

The festival was celebrated across all the districts of Jammu region. Keeping in view the COVID 19 pandemic, there was no gathering in temples and religious places. People celebrated the day at their homes offering special prayers and Puja.

In Uttar Pradesh, special celebration is taking place in Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna. The celebration at Mathura has a unique aspect of social harmony this time, that is the flute of Lord Krishna which is specially designed by muslim artists of Pilibhit. We have a report:

"Lord Krishna had a special connection with his bansuri, the flute and mesmerized everyone on its tune. Although Lord Krishna was born in Mathura and a grand celebration is going on there on this occasion but this celebration has a unique and interesting connection with Pilibhit district in tarai region of the Uttar Pradesh which is famous for making flute. This time also special flutes made by Muslim artisans of Pilibhit has been sent to Mathura for the occasion of Janmashtami festival. In Pilibhit around 200 Muslim artists design the flutes which is famous worldwide and has been chosen as the district product in ambitious one district one product scheme of state government. Prisoners in the pilibhit district jail are also making beautiful flutes nowadays. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News Lucknow."

Krishna Janmashtami is being celebrated in virtual mode in Gujarat due to Covid19 pandemic. AIR correspondent reports that the famous Shri Dwarkadhish Temple and Shri Ranchhodrai ji Temple have made special arrangements for a live webcast of the Krishna Janmotsav inside the temple.

"Pilgrimage town Dwarka is looking deserted as Shri Dwarkadhish Temple is closed for devotees. Similarly, Shri Ranchhodray ji temple in Dakor is also closed for devotees. However, all the religious rituals and traditions are being followed in side the temples. Live streaming of Shri Krishna Janmotsav celebrated inside Shri Dwarkadhish Temple is available on the temple's website and youtube channel. Shri Ranchhodraiji temple in Dakor and many temples in Ahmedabad including ISKCON and Harekrishna Mandir have made special arrangements for online webcast of Shri Krishna Janmotsav for hundreds of devotees. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


The widely popular Dahi Handi festival marking Krishna Janmashtami festival is a low key affair in Mumbai this time owing to the pandemic. While most of the big organizers of the festival preferred to cancel the celebrations this year, the housing societies organized their own mini Dahi Handis with just two tiers. Others opted for day-long virtual celebrations in the form of Maha Aaratis, chanting of Mantras, Havans and religious discourses, showing them online on the temple website, Facebook and YouTube channels.


Today is International Youth Day. The day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. The theme of this year is Youth Engagement for Global Action. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has urged young people across the world to be active change agents in building a more equitable and sustainable world.


World Elephant Day is being celebrated today. In Tamil Nadu, the first Elephant Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre has been established in Trichy to take care of sick and orphan elephants. Talking to AIR News, Trichy and Dindigul Forest Range Officer Thirunavukkarasu said that at present seven elephants are being taken care of in the centre. The elephants are treated for their specific diseases in the first stage and later they are given food and accommodation in the centre itself.


In Maharashtra, incessant showers have been pummelling Mumbai and suburban areas since this morning. Deputy Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Mumbai KS Hosalikar said, satellite and radar indicate intense clouding over North Konkan and due to this Raigad, Thane, Mumbai, Palghar and parts of South Gujarat are very likely to receive intermittent spells of rain in coming days. More from our correspondent:

"After a brief relief, south west monsoon has become active again over Mumbai and other parts of coastal Maharashtra since last couple of days.  The India Meteorological Department today predicted heavy rainfall at isolated places in Mumbai and intense showers in neighbouring districts for the next 24 hours. According to Mumbai IMD the rainfall in Mumbai has already crossed its seasonal levels and now the city is experiencing excess rainfall. Till 5.30 pm today Mumbai's Colaba weather bureau recorded 8.4 mm rainfall while Santacruz weather station marked 38.6 mm rainfall. Likewise, Thane, Navi Mumbai parts of Konkan, Nasik abd Central Maharashtra also witnessed intermittent spells of rain throughout the day today. Meanwhile, the IMD has also issued a brown of heavy to very heavy rainfall for Raigad, Nashik and Pune. While other parts of Maharashtra will receive light to moderate rains. Nivedita, Air News Mumbai."


Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.

The National Capital Delhi will have generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. It will have a minimum temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius and maximum of 33 degrees.

Mumbai will experience generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 30 degrees.

Chennai will have cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 25 and 34 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will witness partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 27 degrees celsius while the maximum will be 34 degrees.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 26 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 35 degrees. The city will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or Duststorm.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 20 degrees while the maximum will be 33 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

Ladakh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius.

In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 18 and 36 degrees Celsius. It will experience partly cloudy sky.

In Muzzafarabad, there will be partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or duststorm. The temperature will hover between 22 and 36 degrees Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. The city will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of heavy rain or thunderstorm.


Himachal Pradesh government today launched Nutritional Immunity Boosting ‘Him Haldi Dudh (Turmeric Latte)’ manufactured by MILKFED. On this occasion, Chief minister Jairam Thakur also disbursed incentives to the Milk Producers of Mandi, Shimla and Kullu districtS under the National Programme for Diary Development. He  also interacted with them through video conference from Shimla. Him Haldi Dudh has been developed by the Bio Technology Department of Punjabi University in Patiala and has been patented. This drink is a Detox drink which has anti-hangover, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunity booster contents in it.


With an aim to provide financial assistance to around 17 lakh families, the Assam government is all set to roll out Arunodoi scheme in the state from 2nd of October. Talking to media persons in Guwahati today, Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that under this scheme an amount of 830 rupees will be given to eligible families per month to buy essential food items.


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